On January 25th, 2017, the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County hosted their third annual Youth of the Year Leadership Day in partnership with GL Homes. Leadership Day is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year premier recognition program presented by Ken & Aileen Pruitt. Four Teen finalists from St. Lucie County, FL compete for the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County’s Youth of the Year title. Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The Youth of the Year title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.
Leadership Day was designed to expose the Youth of the Year candidates to St. Lucie County’s political, community, education and business leaders and help further prepare candidates for their competition. To start the day, Club members had breakfast with County Commissioner, Chris Dzadovsky, both Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce Mayors and the Vice President of GL Homes, Glenn Ryals at the BOCC offices. The candidates were given great advice during breakfast. Candidate, Aleshia Johnson, stated that Mayor Oravec’s comments about there’s not enough time to waste time really made an impact for her stating, “ When opportunities show themselves, I need to take them. I don’t need to be afraid to fail, failure is a step towards success.”
Proceeding breakfast candidates rode the Fort Pierce trolley to Treasure Coast International airport where that got to sit in the cockpit of a WWII plane and speak with Pilot, Philip. In partnership with Eagle Marsh Luxury Limousine candidates were then transported to Indian River State College via Limo where they toured and had lunch with President, Dr. Massey. A tour of WQCS was provided and the four candidates all recorded radio spots to practice their public speaking skills.
Before finishing the day with a traditional panel discussion with business leaders at the Boys & Girls Clubhouse the candidates stopped at the UP center to volunteer their time and complete a community service project.
The panel discussion included business leaders, Terissa Aronson from the St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce, Travis O’Neal from Christ Fellowship, Wayne Gent from St. Lucie Public Schools, Amar Williams from Gary Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C, Daphane Cooper from IRSC and VP of GL Homes, Glenn Ryals. In this town hall style discussion Club members and panel engaged in dialogue on topics such as local business, our community and leadership. Concluding the day candidate, Markia Jones stated, “This day has taught me you just can’t become a leader, you’re going to be challenged to work for it.”
St. Lucie County’s Youth of the Year winner will be announced at the Boys & Girls Clubs annual celebration February 22nd at Ballantrae. This celebration is open to the public and is Free to attend just RSVP to Alicia at 772-460-9918.